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To Strelets: Business Plan vs Retirement Plan

Dear Strelets:

I echo others in saying that it is much too early for retirement and I'd like to give you the reasons from a businessman perspective.

It is clear to me that you have clear advantages against other manufacturers in these aspects:

1. Strelets has on-time and very efficient production schedule. This makes Strelets' sets delivery time shorter compare to most other companies.

2. Your sets have all the different poses.

3. You have clearly mastered the production process of infantry, cavalry and artillery sets.

With all these "compatitive" advantages in mind, you can position yourself in a very unique niche in the hobby. Now these are the types of products that I think you should continue making:

1. Personality Sets. Nobody produce personalities better than Strelets. There are still a lot (and I mean it A LOT) of gap in this area. One important gap is Ancient. How about this: Punic Wars, Imperial Roman Wars, Alexander allies and enemies. No question about popularity there.

2. Camp and Casualties Sets. I dont know about others, but I love you very first set: Napoleonic camp. IMHO, this first product propelled and established your reputation. Why not expand the line to other eras?

3. Irregulars/guerillas/civilians. With all the different poses you have, this is a clear advantage. Yes, Caesar has produce "Underground Resisters (Partisans)" with (only) 12 poses, but how about a whole sets of French Resistance or Tito's Partisans. The WWII era would not be complete without them.

4. Special Events. I mentioned this before: World Cup set! With your efficient delivery time, take advantage of what else is going on in the world. Well, maybe it's a bit too late for the World Cup 2006, but hey why not make an NBA set or Olympic set, for example?! Not only you can sell to it us, other "non-hobbyists" can also be your market. If licensing's an issue, then make something generic.

5. Last but not least: Animal sets. This may sound funny, but I always feel the need for extra horses in my Napoleonic armies. I need them for my dismounted personalities. But more importantly, I need them to help me carry the Prussians, Austrians, Dutch-Belgians, Bavarians artillery pieces! Maybe it's the same case with other armies with elephants..?

Strelets, doesnt my business plan for you sound more interesting than your retirement plan? :)))

Anyway, I will continue to support your products whatever your plans will be!

Best,
Andreas

Yes! animals!

I always wanted a "gap filler" set with various animals you need for your figures. Kind of like background like buildings. That's what I liked about Airfix's Zoo animals. I use the Dromedary camels (though only one pose and hard to come by) for any Middle East or North Africa set up. My 2 camels are with my Bedouins. I need more for Sudan, and modern Iraq.

I have Bactrian (2-humps) camels (Hong Kong copies in HO of Britains camels) carrying supplies for the Mongols.

The elephants, giraffes, zebras, etc are in Africa (HaT's German Colonials don't have WWI opponents, but they fight Airfix Tarzan natives (HeHe's or Hottentots).

My Airfix Llamas are waiting for Caesar's Incas.

See, we need generic "gap-filler" animals that everyone can use. Just pick a few animals, no need to go crazy like your figure sets, just a couple sprues, 15 - 20 types, and then put two of each sprue in there.

Dromedary camel, Asian Water Buffalo, Bison, deer, pack animals, hippos, donkeys (they are everywhere in all eras), crocodiles, zebra, wildebeest, what ever, just stuff we need to buy many boxes of to make herds, packs, gaggles, etc. It would be cool. Heck market it as a zoo. I don't care. I just want them.

And while we're at it. I'm bummed you planned Russo-Japanese and changed your mind. You and Caesar don't have to compete, rather, complement. You can BOTH make a subject. Just complement each other's set.

And you really should use the sprues to add accessories for each set that pertain to the set. Maybe just attached them to the end of each sprue. That way, we could have a set of Boer War Brits and a couple barrels, a couple ammo crates, or a gabion, or a rockpile, or tree stump, broken rock fence, whatever. It adds value and sets you apart even more. Why waste space. Then it's not just a set, it's a "playset"!

And don't forget my suggestion from a couple years ago. I think your future Streltzi figures should start an artillery set. I would have to find that picture again, but you know, one set of figs has the matchlight guy and a barrell. The next set has the cannonball guy and a wheel or two. The next set has the rammer guy and the cannon trail. etc. etc. etc.

Arlin

Re: Yes! animals!

There is a real demand out there for animals in our scale. I've tried over a dozen times to get the old airfix animals on ebay, I've bid up to $30 at a time...and I've always been outbid.

Wouldn't it be nice to have different sets of animals for each continent, except Antarctica, and different sets for various eras? Or 'personality animal sets', like the snake that killed Cleopatra and AH's German Shepherd?

Otherwise I hope that Strelets will still be around for many years. Too many sets that I'd still like to see. Plus, the customer base should continue to grow over time. Myself, I didn't have a single Strelets set some 3 years ago, now I have a copy of each set but the latest 2 releases. I own 2 copies of 2 sets and I plan on buying 2-3 copies each of those beautiful British colonial cavalry sets.

Don't worry about what other companies are doing, as your style is very unique and doesn't really compete with anyone else.

animals!

Nikolai do some great animals like camels and horses, but the trouble is they are resin, so quite easy to break, and pricey. Something similar but in plastic would be great. Bareback horses and seperate saddles so you could add whatever arrangement of cloth etc you wanted. Suddenly no type of horse would be unavailable. Camels too. A few cows for on the hoof food would be good too.

Re: To Strelets: Business Plan vs Retirement Plan

Dear Strelets

Like many others I cannot believe that you would be seriously comtemplating "retirement". Andreas has hit the nail on the head completely.

You make a difference to the industry, with a format nobody else can yet touch and you have a loyal and expanding fan/customer base.
My advice, for what it is worth, is stay alive doing what you do now and if you need to go over older, poorly covered, ground by other manufacturers.

As has been seen by some more recent efforts by other companies, they are having to cut corners and quality to get their product out in the market. Totally the wrong approach!!!! and hopefully this will reflect in their sales.

New ground to cover???? Pure bias but how about
out of the south pacific - The New Zealand Wars of the Nineteenth Century, in fact spanned most of the century.

animal - species, phylum or habitat

Dear all

Preiser do a good range of animals but not in our scale.
But any manufacturer could look at them at get an idea of the scope.

There are a lot animals lurking in odd sets like the mastiffs in the Revell Conquistadors, turkeys in Imex's Pilgrims.
Sets could be for instance - Primates
or by habitat
Animals of tropical jungles

Animals and ruined buildings -rats, crows, wild dogs

They would be very attractive and could appeal to a wide audience.

Cleopatra would be difficult but the Asp could easily be made out of green stuff or Miliput. With mm creep we would probably get a python from certain mnufacturers.

Re: To Strelets: Business Plan vs Retirement Plan

Dear Andreas,

don't get us wrong: we won't be able to retire for the next quarter of a century as one of us just celebrated his 40th aniversary 3 days ago and another is going to in a couple of months' time.
What we meant was just that with the present production rate very soon the producers will face the challenge of finding the commerciably viable themes.
Many thanks for your suggestions any way.

Best regards,

Strelets-R

Re: Re: To Strelets: Business Plan vs Retirement Plan

Good to hear that you don't want to retire. In my opinion your figures become better and better. The Boers range is really good (the guys with the dynamite are awesome). Hope the Highlanders will be also so good. Maybe sometimes I will see my wishlist in your future production range.